More evidence that the Prius’ display changes driving behavior

From today’s Washington Post:

(Lee) Peterson, an Ohio retail consultant and former Jeep driver, had never been interested in mileage. But when he got a Prius, he became fixated with stretching his mileage as far as possible. Peterson keeps track of his mileage the way golfers chart their handicaps. His record back when his wife wanted the car was 57.4 miles to the gallon. But the monitor put him at 58 — more than double the 27.5 mpg that non-hybrid passenger cars are required to get in the United States. He had a quarter-tank to go…”It has totally changed my driving in that for the first time I’m completely cognizant of how the car works.”

Other home monitoring systems that incorporate sophisticated technology and real-time feedback are on the way:

The Kill a Watt plugs into a wall and accepts plug-ins from appliances, showing exactly how much energy is being consumed.

The Wattson, a small console designed by a British company, wirelessly connects to a home’s energy meter and displays numbers showing how many watts of electricity the house is using. If the console glows blue, less electricity than normal is being used. If it glows red, it’s just the opposite.

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One Response to “More evidence that the Prius’ display changes driving behavior”

  1. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang Says:

    The Prius MPG estimator absolutely affects driving behavior. I interviewed a number of Prius owners, and found many of them described the Prius as a kind of video game, where the objective was to get as close to 99 (mpg) as possible: see http://www.endofcyberspace.com/2008/11/hypermiling-the.html

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